Antonio Graceffo takes you to the Philippines in this martial arts travel-video supplement for his Destinations column, appearing in Black Belt magazine. Graceffo explores a variety of martial arts styles and gives an overview of the fighting and training scene in this island nation. Included are his experiences training in arnis, kuntaw, yaw yan and hybrid yaw yan.
“There’s probably like 300 different [martial] arts in the Philippines,” Antonio Graceffo says in the video below. “On top of that, you’ve got 7,000 islands to explore and everyone of has their own masters, their own styles.”
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Antonio Graceffo’s adventure in the Philippines “on an island called Palawan,” he says, “where I was training with Dennis Santos. He was teaching me arnis, which is probably the most common martial art in the Philippines and the one that most people associate with the Philippines. At the same time I was also boxing with the amateur boxing team on the island. So between the gym and the boxing and [the] arnis I was able to train three times a day and it was costing me almost nothing.”
Eventually, Graceffo moved on to other arts such as kuntaw, taught to him by Frank Ayocho in Manila. “Kuntaw is a martial arts you may or may not be familiar with,” Graceffo says, “but what I like about kuntaw is that it’s got everything. It’s got sticks, it’s got knives–which you expect in Filipino arts–but it’s also got grappling, it’s got striking, it’s got kicking and it’s just an all-encompassing martial art, which is what I tend to like.”
SOUTHEAST ASIAN MARTIAL ARTS VIDEO | Antonio Graceffo’s Southeast Asian Martial Arts “Warrior Odyssey” Continues in the Philippines
Antonio Graceffo is a freelance writer currently based in Asia. His book, Warrior Odyssey: The Travels of a Martial Artist Through Asia, is Graceffo’s record of where culture, communication and martial arts meet during his decade-long travels through nine countries including Taiwan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Join Antonio Graceffo for a trip around the world in these exciting martial arts travelogue videos: